VDOF responded to 160 wildfires this fall fire season

Amherst County fire Mount Plesant

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The Virginia Department of Forestry announced on Monday that since October 15th, the agency has responded to 160 wildfires that burned a combine 5,393 acres in the Commonwealth.

According to VDOF, four homes and 22 structures were damaged in those fires.

Year-to-date numbers show 525 wildfires burned a combined 13,395 acres, damaging 80 homes and 36 structures this year.

Here’s the full release from the Virginia Department of Forestry:

Since the last “Statewide Forest Fire Summation Report,” VDOF responded to 27 wildfires that burned a combined 2,137 acres.  Twenty-five homes and 19 other structures were protected and one structure was damaged.  Since the start of fall fire season on Oct. 15th, the Agency has responded to 160 wildfires that burned a combined 5,393 acres.  Two-hundred-one homes and 203 other structures were protected this fall.  Four homes and 22 structures were damaged by the wildfires since Oct. 15th.

Year-to-date figures are 525 wildfires that burned a combined 13,395 acres with 247 homes and 573 other structures protected.  Eighty homes and 36 structures have been damaged this year.  The former Abingdon Region has had the most fires (198) and the most acres burned (8,983) so far this year.  The former Charlottesville Region has had 160 wildfires that have burned 1,880 acres this year.

Final acreage for the Eades Hollow fire is 1,614 acres. Crews will be mopping up the fire today to secure everything and will continue to monitor the fire heading into the weekend.  

The Mount Pleasant fire is contained at 11,200 acres.  VDOF still has two engines and a few of our local personnel assisting on the fire today, although we are about to wrap up our involvement completely.

Final acreage for the Pinnacles fire on Clinch Mountain in Washington County is 425 acres.

All of our out-of-region personnel were released and made it back home yesterday.

There is now a good chance of decent rainfall across most of the Commonwealth late tonight through Wednesday night, with cloudy to partly conditions lingering into the upcoming weekend. The predictions are for two different periods of showers/rainfall through the period with the total precipitation amounts running from more than one inch in far Southwest Virginia to around an inch in the Roanoke area to at least ½” – ¾” for the remainder of the state.  There is also a bit of fire weather caution for today as SW VA and the western mountains will be windy again ahead of the incoming front and relative humidity is going to be less than 30 percent initially but then slowing rising through the 40 percent range as the day progresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many fires have occurred in Southwest Virginia recently? Since Oct. 15, 2016, the Virginia Department of Forestry has responded to 160 wildfires that have burned a total of 5,393 acres – approximately 85 percent have been in Southwest Virginia.
  2. How many firefighters have been actively engaged in wildfire suppression during the last two weeks? In addition to the 50 full-time VDOF employees, we used part-time/on-call wildland firefighters, crews from the Department of Corrections along with crews from the U.S. Forest Service. This is approximately 150 people in total.    
  3. As a citizen, what can I do to help this situation? First, prevent a wildfire from ever starting.  Do not try to burn your trash or debris until the weather conditions improve.  If a fire escapes your control or you see an active wildfire without fire personnel on scene, call 911 right away.  If you notice someone or something out of the ordinary, get a description of the person and vehicle and report it to local law enforcement as a number of these wildfires have been intentionally set.  Woods arson is a serious crime and puts lives and property at risk.

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